Seventeenth Century Lady: Charles II Scottish Coronation

I’m pleased to be a guest of the Seventeenth Century Lady with an article I wrote about Charles II’s Scottish coronation. This occurred on January 1, 1651 in the Kirk of Scone. It occurred against the backdrop of Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland and has the distinction of being the last coronation to be held in Scotland. To read the article, click on the link: Charles II’s Scottish Coronation. Featured pictures: Charles II Coronation at Westminster: [By John Michael Wright – http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page92.asp, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons Kirk of Scone (Moot Hill): I, Calgacus [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons Palace of…

The Hudson’s Bay Company: a 17th century multicultural start up

This year, when Canada recently celebrated her 150th birthday, I thought about how we became a nation and all the long line of diverse people who paved the way. Curiously enough, Canada’s early story revolves a department store—the Hudson’s Bay Company. When you think Hudson’s Bay Company, you’re probably thinking of HBC, Bay Days sales and that iconic point blanket. I think of all that, but I also see an institution with a quintessential Canadian history, that started as a multicultural startup in the 17th century. It started with a dream. Two French Canadian trappers (coureurs de bois), Pierre-Esprit Radisson…

Because it happened: How not to write historical fiction

When I started writing the first dirty draft of Traitor’s Knot, I was so focused on the details of the events, that I often neglected the human reaction to the drama. It’s understandable given that there is so much pressure to get the historical facts nailed. Historical fiction writers have the advantage of knowing what happened to their subjects, but sometimes that knowledge blunts the suspense. This doesn’t seem to be a problem for other genres, with perhaps the exception of memoire. Science fiction and fantasy–your imagination defines what or what doesn’t happen. Contemporary or romance, ditto. Thrillers? You guys are…

Charles Stuart, Prince of Wales

Today is the anniversary of Charles II’s birthday. He is 387 years old, but he doesn’t look a bit over 40. In honour of timeless Charles, I thought it would be fitting to introduce you to his early years. The following article was originally written for the English Historical Fiction Author’s Blog (EHFA) and published on May 2, 2016. If you are interested in English history of all ages, I can’t recommend a better site to explore. When people think of Charles II of England, they usually think of Charles the Merry Monarch. Yet there was more to this intelligent man…

The Household Cavalry

When the last king of England, your father, has been executed by his enemies and you are finally reclaiming the throne, the first thing you want to do is get yourself a professional bodyguard, a crack force entirely loyal to you. This is what Charles II did when he was restored to the throne of England, Ireland and Scotland. As the Prince of Wales, he had been living with civil war since the age of twelve. He had seen men turn against his father and fight against him on the battlefield and turn  him over to his enemies. It’s no surprise that Charles…